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Holly's Blog: Our brand new Fund Filter

29 Oct, 2021

OK I’m geekily excited today as we unveil a new addition to Boring Money. We’ve added a fund table, which brings you a shortlist of the UK’s most popular funds with investment professionals and retail investors. With ratings and reviews from investors.

Why did we build it?

There are literally thousands of investment funds in the UK today and the majority of them will probably not deliver good value to investors. Some will be poorly governed and run. Some frankly bad. And some just bog average with an above bog average cost.

So how does Jo Average, sitting at home one Sunday afternoon, go about picking a portfolio of decent funds? And once you have bought them – how on earth to review and update?

Burned by reliance on one platform’s fund list, many of you asked us to create a sort of “Now That’s What I Call Funds” list – could we look at the main investment platforms and find the consensus view amongst all of them. Which funds were felt to be OK by a reassuring number of analysts? We already manually collate these pages each month and you can have a look at the latest here.

Beyond what the platforms think, there is also interest in the professional fund selectors’ favourites. What are those in the advice space who look at funds day-in day-out doing? It’s a bit like asking Monty Don what’s in his garden, or Mary Berry where she goes for tea.

And finally, we know that many of you actually trust other investors more than anyone in the industry. What’s everyone else buying? And why?

And so….

We took all of this feedback and have partnered with independent research and data firm FE FundInfo to bring you our new Fund Filter table.

We combine ‘Pros’ (top recent picks from industry professionals from advice firms and investment platforms) and ‘Flows’ (what retail investors are buying) to bring you our filtered list of 123 funds and investment trusts. And show you performance, risk, charges and other investors’ ratings and reviews.

Why have you asked The Proles?

I anticipate criticism from some in the investment industry.

As far as I know, no-one has ever asked the actual customers of these funds what they think and why? Many in the industry still think it’s pointless to ask the end-investor because they don’t understand “our complex world” and so to ask them is irrelevant. (Many but not all by the way.)

Others will say this is a rear-view mirror approach. Mullets and flares were popular once too. They are of course right. But we are not fund analysts, so unqualified to base this table on future expectations and subjective opinion. And of course half of those who are ‘experts’ get it wrong anyway?

The passive investment cult will say it’s a waste of time and everyone should just buy passive (or ‘tracker’) funds. My experience has taken me down a different path but this will be a good approach by some and you can filter this table by passive funds if that’s your thing.

And others will critique those reviews which talk largely about performance because they will remind us that past performance is not an indicator of future performance. And we have been in a period of rising markets for a while, with anyone skewed to the US and tech doing well – this could obviously look quite different as and when things get a bit ugly.

All well and good but I have never yet talked to anyone who didn’t factor past performance into their fund analysis. Oh come on!! We all do! But interestingly the early comments show that people also value a broader list of attributes. Social impact. Sustainability. Consistency. Charges. Philosophy.

Dig in!

So – with appropriate caveats and risk warnings (these funds are NOT recommendations, it’s information only, you can lose money, markets could turn South at any time, seek advice if in doubt etc etc ) – we are pleased to unveil our Fund Filter.

Please have a look and help us and others by reviewing the funds you hold. This is Day One and so there will be lots of improvements to make – let us know what you think!

We added a page where every manager could have their own url and create content to have a direct conversation with customers – tell them who they are, what they stand for and what they are trying to do. So far, not one has agreed to provide content and take a page :0( We’ll keep asking.

I really hope we can start something special here. Which rewards and calls out excellence, highlights problems and provides an immediate feedback loop to an industry which doesn’t do enough to understand its customers.

Have a lovely weekend everyone. Do you think that my local Lidl has heard that the Chancellor has cut the price of champagne yet? I swear – Lidl champagne for £13.99 a bottle – not half bad. That’s the best financial tip you’ll get all week.

Holly

P.S Reminder of our webinar on sustainable investing this coming Tuesday at 6pm – register here and join me guests and moi live at 6pm or watch on catch-up.